In case you did not know, May is Water Safety Month! Water safety month was created by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, with support from the National Recreation and Park Association and The American Red Cross. According to the National Water Safety Month website, May is designated to “bring safe, enjoyable aquatic activities to the American public, from home pools and spas to waterparks and resorts, to public swimming and water recreation facilities.” This wellness blog will give your department some ideas on how to celebrate.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), an average of about 10 people per day in America die from drowning accidents. The NSC goes on to elaborate that drowning is a leading cause of death amongst Americans - with the greater risk being posed to younger children.
As recreation and park providers, your department may be a leading force in the community in offering water events. From open pool days in the summer - to kayak rentals at the local lake, the variety of water-based programs that can be offered are endless. It is very important that these programs are done in a safe manner.
One way to help implement water safety practices in your community is to offer water safety courses. These courses can range from swim lessons that emphasize pool safety rules, to safe boating practices. The American Red Cross offers courses that will teach these rules in a number of different capacities. Click this link to find a provider near you!
The official National Water Safety Month website shares a lot of resources to help in the adoption and implementation of safe water programs. Below, I have listed a few easy tips to emphasize to users of your facilities:
Keep pool toys not in use away from the pool
Implement the “buddy system” for use
If a child is missing, look for him or her in the water first
Flotation devices are not meant to serve as a water supervision device
In addition to the list of tips to keep in mind when offering water based activities, the National Water Safety Month website put together a great toolkit of resources. These resources will help bring awareness to Water Safety Month and help to make your facility safer.
Planning a water safety fair is also a great way to introduce safe water practices into your community. The National Water Safety Month has arranged a guide to help in implementing water safety fairs. To learn more about how to implement a water safety fair in your community, click this link.
I hope that this blog has given you some ways to celebrate Water Safety Month! If your department does a cool water safety program, I’d love to know about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next time,